Friday, March 8, 2013

Backwards approach to running?

Over the few years I've been running, I've had some injuries, just like 75-80% of runners every year. Some were nothing to do with running (like the neuroma I currently have), others were incidental to running (like landing badly on a stone while road running last year) and the rest were just down to what I would call overuse while in bad form. In effect, the last type means that if someone is not running correctly (heel striking, landing with knees locked out, arched back, bending at the waist...the list goes on!), then the muscles/joints/tendons etc will get shock applied over and over that is detrimental like water dripping on a stone or a straw to a camel's back. Eventually something will give in.
But the issue (in my opinion) comes from the approach most runners have to running. A lot of runners tend to strive for building up distance first - regardless of injuries, almost like a "badge of honour". After that, they look into different types of footwear that suits them (or doesn't, depending on who is selling them in the shop!) and lastly, they spend time looking into running form...
In my opinion (that's the second time I've said that, ok?), we should be encouraging runners from the beginning to focus on running form as a skill. Then only running short distances, maybe up to 2-3km at a time. After the skill of running has been learned, then look at appropriate footwear depending on the distances the person wants to run and lastly build up distance.
Compare running to swimming, martial arts, kayaking etc. In all of those sports they are taught as a skill first, learning the foundation, the building blocks. When the foundation is good, then move on to more advanced areas and finally build up endurance for competitions. Quality before quantity.
Why can't runners do that?
Constructive comments welcome...


1 comment:

  1. That's exactly it Eoin. You should never add physical conditioning on top of poor movement.